STEVENS POINT, Wis. -- The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control reviewed and acted on committee recommendations impacting winter sports at its June meeting today.
The Board voted to increase the maximum number of basketball games permitted in a season from 22 to 24 at the varsity level only beginning in 2020-21. The other change clarifies that individual participation limits will be determined strictly by number of halves. The maximum number of halves a student-athlete may participate in during a season remains unchanged at 66.
In hockey, the Board approved a new overtime procedure for all WIAA Tournament Series games. Teams will remain in the bench area for a three-minute break to be followed by an eight-minute, sudden-victory overtime period. If a winner has not been determined following the first overtime, a 15-minute intermission with ice resurfacing will precede a 17-minute, sudden-victory overtime. If a tie remains, the procedure will repeat.
The Board also approved the hockey recommendation to increase the number of team medals at sectionals and at State to 22, which allows for each player on the bench to receive a medal.
Three wrestling-related recommendations were approved by the Board. The season regulation for a two-pound growth allowance with consecutive days of competition will now be in compliance with the NFHS rule. The second new regulation authorizes Trackwrestling.com to seed teams advancing to the State Team Wrestling Tournament following sectionals. The traditionally scheduled seed meeting will now serve as an appeal opportunity to the data-driven seeds.
In addition, the seven-percent committee recommendation clarifies the wrestling season regulation requiring wrestlers competing in the State Tournaments to be at or above their WLP weight in order to reweigh with DXA/hydrostatic.
The one gymnastics recommendation approved by the Board altars the language of the regulation that addresses the eligibility of co-op programs for the team Tournament Series. A cooperative team is eligible for the WIAA team Tournament Series if it consists of a maximum of two schools, or the combined enrollment of the cooperative team does not exceed the enrollment of the largest stand-alone program of the previous year.
There were two Medical Advisory Committee recommendations to receive approval. The first increases the maximum head, neck or cervical injury evaluation time from four minutes to five minutes. The other requires any student-athlete that losses consciousness must be medically evaluated and cleared to play before being allowed to return to participation.
In other sport-related Board action, the boys golf season in 2020 will be moved one week later to accommodate for the American Family Insurance Championship that will be held the traditional week of the State Boys Golf Tournament at University Ridge Golf Course. The new dates for the State meet in 2020 will be June 15-16.
Approval of the Board was granted for the details and composition of the Conference Realignment Task Force. The committee will be comprised of 15 members appointed to three-year terms by the executive staff with two co-chairs to be determined by the task force.
In other realignment-related action, the Board gave its initial approval of a revised conference alignment plan for eight-player football beginning in 2020 to account for the new formation of the Kickapoo/LaFarge co-op.
Membership rules require a 40-day window for schools involved in conference alignment plans to appeal the first consideration of the Board before it takes final action. Thus, schools have until July 30, 2019, to file an appeal of the initial vote. The Board will give final consideration of the plan at its meeting on Aug. 9, 2019.
Another realignment-affiliated item addressed by the Board was approval of the newly created MidWest Wisconsin Girls Soccer Conference consisting of nine programs, including Adams-Friendship, Altoona, Amherst, Arcadia, Assumption, Mauston, Melrose-Mindoro/Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, Regis/McDonell Catholic and Wautoma.
Other action items approved by the Board include the general fund financial statement and payments for May. The Board also ratified spring cooperative programs for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons. It also approved returning to a two-year approval process for hockey co-ops, retaining a one-year process for gymnastics and creating an even-year co-op approval process for football. Approval of a spending resolution during development of the 2019-20 operational budget was also a part of the Board’s action items.
Among the meeting’s discussions and reports were a review of the 2019 spring State Tournaments, an appropriate approach to seeding the Section 1 in the Division 1 Tournament Series for all sports, awareness of possible legislation for assault on a sport official, potential topics for discussion at the 2019 Area Meetings, and the New AD Workshop scheduled for July 22.
The Board also received liaison reports from John Ashley of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, Michael Thompson of the Department of Public Instruction and Todd Sobrilsky of the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association.
The membership of the WIAA oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 511 senior high schools and 43 junior high/middle level schools in its membership. It sponsors 27 championship tournament series for boys and girls in 2018-19. For more information, please contact the WIAA office at (715) 344-8580.